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Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

Otto Stockmeyer

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The Importance of Definitions in Law School

September 14

Here at WMU-Cooley fall classes are beginning. New students will quickly learn that first-term courses do not include Vocabulary 101. Rather, students are expected to master the law’s terminology on their own, by looking up every word in their assigned cases that they don’t understand.

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The Great Cardozo Bar-Exam Canard

August 14

Justice Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938) served with great distinction as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (1914-1932) and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1932-1938). He was the holder of 14 honorary degrees, including from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Chicago, Michigan, and N.Y.U.

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A Life of Service in the Law

June 30

Remembering John W. Fitzgerald  July 7th marks the 14th anniversary of the passing of Justice John W. Fitzgerald (1924-2006). He was the favorite son of Grand Ledge MI who rose to become Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court while playing an instrumental role in the life of WMU-Cooley Law School.

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Bar Exam Subjects: How Many Are Too Many?

May 27

Social-distancing policies have forced states to rethink the July bar exam. One state has decided to shorten it to one day. Another is going open-book. A third is eliminating the multiple-choice portion and using short-answer questions instead. All three plan to administer their exams remotely (on-line). ABAJournal.com has the story. And now Michigan has decided to go with a one-day, on-line, all-essay test in July.

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The Three Lucys of Contract Lore, Part Three: Peevyhouse vs. Garland Coal

April 29

Blog contributor Otto Stockmeyer is a WMU-Cooley Law School Distinguished Professor Emeritus. This is another in his series of posts offering a fresh look at famous cases.

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The Three Lucys of Contract Lore, Part Two: Wood vs. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon

April 24

Blog contributor Otto Stockmeyer is a WMU-Cooley Law School Distinguished Professor Emeritus. This is another in his series of posts offering a fresh look at famous cases.

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The Three Lucys of Contract Lore, Part One: Lucy vs. Zehmer

April 18

Blog contributor Otto Stockmeyer is a WMU-Cooley Law School Distinguished Professor Emeritus. This is another in his series of posts offering a fresh look at famous cases. 

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Take A Look at Restitution

March 27

The subject of Restitution was once a mainstay of the first-year law school curriculum, but has become sorely neglected in the past half-century. This could explain why one professional responsibility expert believes that overlooking a restitution claim is the most common form of legal malpractice. If you are sheltering in place with an internet connection and time on your hands, now would be a good time to acquaint yourself with this important subject.

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Vampire Verbs and Zombie Nouns

February 21

Whether it's Halloween or not, verbs and nouns can sometimes be downright scary! Professor Otto Stockmeyer has gone emeritus after more than three decades teaching at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, with visiting stints at Mercer University and California Western. He is a past president of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers. A version of this blog post first appeared in the Society’s newsletter The Scrivener.

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About Those Large Law School Diplomas

February 07

A recent blog post features WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Ed Sternisha. Included is a photo of Sternisha with his law school diploma displayed on the office wall behind him. That photo got me thinking that perhaps our 20,000+ graduates — whose diplomas are on display in offices around the globe — may not know the story behind their “world’s largest” diplomas.

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